Author: Charles Frank

What is A A.? Alcoholics Anonymous

what is an aa meeting

You might wonder how long AA meetings are. Or maybe you’re concerned about whether you’ll need to get up and share your story at a meeting. Learning more about what to expect in an AA meeting can help you feel more at ease and get more out of the experience.

The best AA speakers are often really funny. You may find yourself leaving the speaker meeting with the feeling that you just enjoyed a standup comedy act. Many people in recovery have a dark sense of humor and we mainly laugh at ourselves. After years and sometimes decades of drinking we’re easy targets to poke fun at.AA speakers tell their story and frequently the story is sad (but also funny). It’s easy to laugh when somebody at the podium cracks a joke about, for instance, going to jail and being the smelliest bum in the holding cell. You may be shocked to hear the whole room laughing about something most people wouldn’t find very funny.

Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings share the same ideology and hold anonymity and respect in the highest regard. Others attend due to pressure from a loved one or because they are required by the court, such as after being arrested for drunk driving. Group consisted of only Bill, Dr. Bob, and a patient at an Akron hospital. In 1939, the program expanded, largely due to the publication of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, which is known as the “Big Book.” The growth of people’s interest in A.A.

To feel comfortable, it is also important to know what happens at an AA meeting. The atmosphere is usually kind and informal. Participants can come in at any time during the meeting, but they should be mindful not to disrupt the conversation. Depending on the format, the attendees are given a topic to discuss or can simply share their issues, stories, and concerns.

Just as in the movies, everyone responds with, “Hello (first name)!” After they complete their “story” everyone in the room thanks them. After about 10 minutes, there are 50 people who are seated in a semi-circle of chairs. One person sits in the middle of the circle. They are the meeting chairperson for that particular day. The meeting might be held in a building connected with a church or a community center.

This format of the gatherings focuses on exploring a single step in the 12-step program. Meetings aren’t based on a specific religion, they do include spiritual aspects. For some, these aspects of the program can be a stumbling block. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may be accessible, but do they work? Do they truly help attendees achieve and maintain sobriety?

Young and Sober in AA: From Drinking to Recovery

This may be provided  on a slip that has been furnished by the referral source, or via a digital method if the group is online. The referred person is responsible for returning the proof of attendance. Speaker meetings often are open meetings. Member serving as “leader” or “chair” opens the meeting using that group’s format, and selects a topic for discussion.

Some may lack the motivation, time, or ability to attend a local meeting. Others may simply feel more comfortable with online interaction than face-to-face conversations. Many people hesitate to attend Alcoholics Anonymous group meetings to talk about their alcohol abuse because of privacy concerns.

what is an aa meeting

These same formats may be applied to group meetings on the Big Book or the Twelve Traditions. Many groups make it a practice to read aloud pertinent material from the Big Book or Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions at the beginning of the meeting. Meetings and each meeting takes on the feel of their local area. At most meetings you will hear members talk about what drinking did to them and to those around them. Most also share what actions they took to stop drinking and how they are living their lives today. We also discuss who can join Alcoholics Anonymous and what research has found about the effectiveness of attending these meetings when overcoming alcohol misuse or abuse.

Meetings are typically listed as “open” or “closed” meetings. Given the number of individuals struggling with or at risk for an AUD, it is understandable that AA has grown to what it is today—an organization with more than 115,000 groups worldwide. During a presentation, an Alcoholics Anonymous group selects several members to speak in front of various healthcare professionals to educate them about the program.

Online AA Meetings

According to research, the answer is yes. Often, the next step is to read a passage from the Big Book and reinforcement about the importance of member privacy and anonymity. Meetings typically close with a prayer, moment of silence, recitation of the Responsibility Statement, or by reading a section of another A.A.

  1. All treatment calls are accepted by drug and alcohol centers advertising with the Call Affiliate LLC network.
  2. Member serving as “leader” or “chair” opens the meeting using that group’s format, and selects a topic for discussion.
  3. Meetings are opened by the chair, with some meetings then calling for recitation of the Serenity Prayer or a moment of silence.
  4. Following his hospital discharge, Wilson joined the Oxford Group and tried to recruit other alcoholics to the group.
  5. We may be paid a fee for marketing or advertising by organizations that can assist with treating addictions.

You can start by visiting the official AA website, which includes local listings. You can also contact local community centers, churches, or healthcare facilities for more information on AA and other 12-Step meetings near you. The AA Big Book also includes the 12-Steps of AA to provide guidance and support to people looking to achieve and maintain sobriety through the AA fellowship.

The Big Book, the Twelve Steps, and the Twelve Traditions

It also contains stories written by the co-founders and stories from a wide range of members who have found recovery in A.A. Online and telephone meetings are also available. Various platforms are used depending on what the group members prefer. Some are video meetings where you see each other’s faces. At other online meetings, everyone’s video is off. Still other meetings use a dial-in conference call number.

Increased more after a 1941 article in the Saturday Evening Post about the group. In some meetings, people are randomly called on, the thinking is, that it prevents the same people from constantly sharing, overriding the more shy, quieter people. In other meetings, at the end of the prayer, everyone may say a popular AA slogan, such as, “meeting makers make it.” AA meetings are usually listed as either being “open” or “closed.” Open meetings are available to anyone interested in AA.

The primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to help newcomers to recover. By helping others to recover we stay sober ourselves. AA meetings are gatherings where recovery from alcoholism is discussed.


Educated us to the true nature of the illness. Although alcohol abuse frequently requires medical intervention to treat, having an opportunity to speak to someone with the same issue is crucial. When a person has the support, encouragement, and sufficient emotional outlet, the recovery stops being an insurmountable feat. Therefore, finding a local AA meeting and giving it a try can help a person change their life for the better. The effectiveness of the program largely depends on how much time a person spends attending the gatherings. The most beneficial AA meeting schedule should include at least 3 meetings per week.